My family and I last visited Finca Cortesin (for the third time) during our holiday in Sotogrande in October 2010. I have reviewed the resort of Sotogrande in the Holiday Destinations area of this website. Finca Cortesin is one of the more expensive golf clubs in the area, though there is a feeling of luxury and excellent service there that helps to justify the cost. Booking in advance online saves 10% of green fees, although it is only possible to do this for adults. It is worth telephoning the Pro-shop if you are playing with juniors - they have been very helpful to us in the past in ensuring that we get the best price. Junior fees are 50% of the full green fee. A buggy is essential, though, due to the length and hilliness of the course, so you will need to budget for these too!
Finca Cortesin is home to the Volvo World Matchplay championship, next to be played in May 2011, and is actually located around a 20 minute drive from Sotogrande, in the Casares area. It is easily reached by following the A-340 coast road from Sotogrande towards Estepona. On reaching Casares, the left turn towards the club is clearly sign-posted at a roundabout. The road climbs away from the coast until the new resort of Finca Cortesin is reached. There is a beautiful new luxury hotel with spa facilities, which I am unable to review as I have not stayed there, but I suspect it would a lovely place to stay. If you park at the Club House car park, within moments, the caddie master will appear in a buggy to take your clubs. Service is a part of the Finca Cortesin experience!
The Pro-shop is airy and light and well-stocked with men’s, ladies’ and junior clothing, e.g. Adidas, Polo Ralph Lauren, Bobby Jones (mostly with the club logo) in a good range of styles, colours and sizes, though these are not inexpensive brands! The restaurant has a balcony overlooking the practice range and serves excellent food - the steak sandwich and the tuna salad are both highly recommended, and hot drinks are accompanied by delicious home-made biscuits.
Use of the practice range is free with your green fees and your clubs will have been loaded onto a buggy with your name on the front. The buggies have GPS screens to help you with club selection, and are loaded with water in a cool box as well as fresh fruit. There is the facility to order food through the GPS system during your round.
The course itself is beautifully maintained, although there is still a lot of building work going on as the resort is developed, which mars some of the views. Finca Cortesin is one of the longest courses on the Costa del Sol and not really suited to high handicappers, though the red tees are positioned significantly forward of the yellows and whites on the majority of holes. It is also very hilly. The first six holes are the other side of the road from the main resort and include a lovely short par 4, the 4th hole, where the tees are situated high above the green (less so the ladies tees!), which is potentially drive-able, though there is the risk of going in water on the left or thick scrub on the right. There is a lot a variety in the design of holes, making it an enjoyable round. Other notable holes are the par 5 5th, with another elevated tee; the par 5 11th, with a blind drive and second shot; the pretty signature par 4 13th hole, with an approach over water; and the par 4 15th, which is particularly scary from the white and yellow tees, as the drive is over a huge ravine, though the red tees are thankfully on the same side as the green - still with a tricky drive to a sloping fairway with a number of bunkers.
I have given my rating for Finca Cortesin below - please add yours if you have played here.